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  1. #26
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    In the 1960s, I and all the other kids either walked, cycled or rode a bus to school, up until we turned 16. Sadly, the education in most schools ended in the late 1960s and sometime after that, mothers began driving their kids to school; even though the roads where I grew up are the same and the schools are in the same place. So, some new perceived auto-centric roads design did not play a part in any such change. And OMG, there were not even bike lanes back then to somehow "keep us kids safe".
    I too rode a bike to school way back in the '60s. And I did this after attending a Bike Rodeo where I demonstrated my cycling skills to attending Firemen.

    As far as the road design... sure the pavement is the same, but the speeds and traffic density have gone up everywhere except in the local residential neighborhoods. Locally I can still see 40MPH paint on the roads that are now signed for 50MPH. What changed? Did they somehow improve the roads???

    There is now more traffic on the same roads... the streets I rode as a child are now filled with heavy traffic. Heck, they don't even use children "Patrol guards" like they did when I was a kid... I wonder why.

    And frankly back in the mid '70s' there wasn't a road in this country with a speed limit over 55MPH... today I can show you 60MPH arterial streets with and without bike lanes... I guess on the streets without bike lanes you just "take a lane."

    Since the laws that set up road speeds is based on fast moving traffic... I'd have to say it is very auto centric. Otherwise there would be exceptions to the 85% rule. As it is there are environmental impact exceptions to limiting the speed of motor traffic... I'd have to say that too is pretty auto centric.

    The fact is that the roads we had in the 60's were auto centric then... We just managed to share them as there was less traffic and it moved slower.

  2. #27
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    And frankly back in the mid '70s' there wasn't a road in this country with a speed limit over 55MPH... today I can show you 60MPH arterial streets with and without bike lanes... I guess on the streets without bike lanes you just "take a lane."
    Only because of the Jimmy Carter oil crisis BS. Before and after that time, the speed limits were much higher and had no impact on cycling. The roads I walked/cycled to school on in the 60's and the roads my kids walked/cycled to school on in the 80-90's are all still 25 MPH.

    In the 1960s, the fastest roads (freeway) I saw was in WY and they were 75mph. Those roads (freeway) are currently posted at 75mph.

    Your 60MPH arterial street problem is mostly a southern CA deal. There is only two short portions of freeway in Hawaii with a 60mph speed; and even they ranges from 45-60mph. The other freeways and main highways, range from 35-55mph.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-28-08 at 04:05 PM.

  3. #28
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Since the laws that set up road speeds is based on fast moving traffic... I'd have to say it is very auto centric. Otherwise there would be exceptions to the 85% rule. As it is there are environmental impact exceptions to limiting the speed of motor traffic... I'd have to say that too is pretty auto centric.
    Please again note, this is a CA problem. To the best of my knowledge, no other state has a strict 85% rule.

    Even AZ uses the rule only as the absolute maximum speed limit which may be set. From that starting point it lowers the posted speed limit based on engineering, accidents and other factors.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-28-08 at 04:21 PM.

  4. #29
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Please again note, this is a CA problem. To the best of my knowledge, no other state has the 85% rule.
    Wikipedia disagrees with you...
    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    Most U.S. jurisdictions report using the 85th percentile speed as the basis for their speed limits, so the 85th-percentile speed and speed limits should be closely matched. However, a review of available speed studies demonstrates that the posted speed limit is almost always set well below the 85th-percentile speed by as much as 8 to 12 mph (see p.88) (13 to 19 km/h).
    Now while higher speeds may not instantly translate into more deaths (as shown by the lack of highway deaths after the nationwide 55MPH rule was repealed) higher speeds do to tend to lead to more higher speeds (70% of drivers admit to speeding) and higher speeds also reduce reaction times on roads that may not have the best sightlines... such as local surface streets, vice highways.

    Indeed this is NOT a CA only problem.

  5. #30
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Only because of the Jimmy Carter oil crisis BS. Before and after that time, the speed limits were much higher and had no impact on cycling. The roads I walked/cycled to school on in the 60's and the roads my kids walked/cycled to school on in the 80-90's are all still 25 MPH.

    In the 1960s, the fastest roads (freeway) I saw was in WY and they were 75mph. Those roads (freeway) are currently posted at 75mph.

    Your 60MPH arterial street problem is mostly a southern CA deal. There is only two short portions of freeway in Hawaii with a 60mph speed; and even they ranges from 45-60mph. The other freeways and main highways, range from 35-55mph.

    25MPH is a very reasonable speed... and as far as freeway speeds, I could care less... I only rarely use the freeways when I bike... but try to keep in mind that people used to cruising at 75MPH, tend to keep the hammer down when they hit those surface streets.

  6. #31
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    IMHO When looking at old vs new something changed in the 1980's as it seems to me riding in the road before that time period was generally considered safe and after that time period riding in the road was generally considered not safe. And I think it might be helpful to look at the reasons on the how and why that happened.

    Major events that happened in the 1980's
    • Bike helmet standards and laws
    • Mandatory seat belt use laws and the introduction of airbags
    • Road engineering to reduce minuscule motoring delays to reduce wasted fuel and time (primarily hot right turns and right on red)


    To explain a bit more, I see bike helmets more of a reminder that cycling is unsafe then making a strong statement that now with a helmet cycling is safe. Seat belts and airbags make a statement that car crashes happen all the time (and you want to ride your bike in that?) And lastly the purpose of the road has changed from "you get there when you get there" to its a benefit to society to facilitate fast and convenient travel by motorists and cyclists interfere with that.

    The result is articles like this one which highlight the dangers of cycling but only give a cursory nod to what is actually causing more injuries... the automobile. Death by automobile is overly accepted as justified byproduct of a "efficient" transportation system.

    I do not see emphasizing "safe crashing" over driver/cyclist training as doing anyone any good (other then those studying risk compensation.) Some of the money going into bike lanes and trails could be spent on education. I see such a strong resistance to any hard hitting educational campaigns or better educational materials (though there is almost universal agreement that such are effective in reducing crashes) that I really see no practical justification for such resistance especially among those who feel our roadways are unsafe for non-motorists.

    Anyway I see any "new" paradigm needs to reestablish the purpose of public roads and driving is a responsibility not a right.
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  7. #32
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Wikipedia disagrees with you...
    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    Most U.S. jurisdictions report using the 85th percentile speed as the basis for their speed limits, so the 85th-percentile speed and speed limits should be closely matched. However, a review of available speed studies demonstrates that the posted speed limit is almost always set well below the 85th-percentile speed by as much as 8 to 12 mph (see p.88) (13 to 19 km/h).
    Read closer, wiki actually agrees with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Indeed this is NOT a CA only problem.
    http://articles.latimes.com/1999/sep/12/local/me-9377
    I have not seen similar stories from other states. So the problem in actual practice, does seem to be a CA problem.

  8. #33
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Please again note, this is a CA problem. To the best of my knowledge, no other state has a strict 85% rule.
    I'll parenthetically note that while other states may not have this codified I have seen evidence that police and courts will sometimes/often support this notion. (Police/courts should only go after the worst offenders i.e. the 15% remainder of the 85% rule. To go after a larger segment of society would over tax the system or so they say.)
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  9. #34
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    IMHO When looking at old vs new something changed in the 1980's as it seems to me riding in the road before that time period was generally considered safe and after that time period riding in the road was generally considered not safe. And I think it might be helpful to look at the reasons on the how and why that happened.

    Major events that happened in the 1980's
    • Bike helmet standards and laws
    • Mandatory seat belt use laws and the introduction of airbags
    • Road engineering to reduce minuscule motoring delays to reduce wasted fuel and time (primarily hot right turns and right on red)


    To explain a bit more, I see bike helmets more of a reminder that cycling is unsafe then making a strong statement that now with a helmet cycling is safe. Seat belts and airbags make a statement that car crashes happen all the time (and you want to ride your bike in that?) And lastly the purpose of the road has changed from "you get there when you get there" to its a benefit to society to facilitate fast and convenient travel by motorists and cyclists interfere with that.

    The result is articles like this one which highlight the dangers of cycling but only give a cursory nod to what is actually causing more injuries... the automobile. Death by automobile is overly accepted as justified byproduct of a "efficient" transportation system.

    I do not see emphasizing "safe crashing" over driver/cyclist training as doing anyone any good (other then those studying risk compensation.) Some of the money going into bike lanes and trails could be spent on education. I see such a strong resistance to any hard hitting educational campaigns or better educational materials (though there is almost universal agreement that such are effective in reducing crashes) that I really see no practical justification for such resistance especially among those who feel our roadways are unsafe for non-motorists.

    Anyway I see any "new" paradigm needs to reestablish the purpose of public roads and driving is a responsibility not a right.
    I tend to agree... and apparently I am not the only one to see this, as your post points out. CBHI however has a hard time seeing these things... but perhaps that is due to his isolation on a distant Pacific island.

  10. #35
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    *Road engineering to reduce minuscule motoring delays to reduce wasted fuel and time (primarily hot right turns and right on red)
    Another gift that started in CA and then spread across the country.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    Anyway I see any "new" paradigm needs to reestablish the purpose of public roads and driving is a responsibility not a right.
    I would change it to something like:
    A "new" paradigm needs to reestablish the purpose of public roads; the right to free unfettered travel by walking or cycling; and driving is a privilege with significant responsibilities, not a right.

  11. #36
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    CBHI however has a hard time seeing these things... but perhaps that is due to his isolation on a distant Pacific island.
    We have been through that "distant Pacific island" BS before.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...48#post7723719

    I have traveled in 48 of the 50 US states plus a couple US territories and overseas. I have lived in 12 US states.
    So please stop with the "isolation" BS.

  12. #37
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Read closer, wiki actually agrees with me.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1999/sep/12/local/me-9377
    I have not seen similar stories from other states. So the problem in actual practice, does seem to be a CA problem.
    Wiki only states that while the 85% rule is used to calculate speed limits, speeds are often set lower...

    Wiki does NOT say that the 85% rule is a CA only thing, nor does wiki state that those lower speed limits are not raised up from years before.

    There are various studies that do show that increased speeds are an increased hazard to pedestrians... but there are no similar bike related studies. (at least that I could find in a short search)

  13. #38
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    We have been through that "distant Pacific island" BS before.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...48#post7723719

    I have traveled in 48 of the 50 US states plus a couple US territories and overseas. I have lived in 12 US states.
    So please stop with the "isolation" BS.
    Hey it's you that believes that high speed driving and increased speed limits are such an isolated event that it only happens in CA... perhaps you didn't have your eyes open when you visited the other 47 states.

    Even the Federal Highway administration believes that the 85% rule is used in most states...

    Although there are variations from State to State, on average, speed limits were posed 5 and 16 mi/h (8 and 26 km/h) below the 85th percentile speed. As all States use the 85th percentile as a major criterion for establishing safe and reasonable speed limits, it is surprising that the new speed limits posted on the experimental sections examined in this study deviated so far from the 85th percentile speed. There are several plausible reasons. Once commonly cited reason for posting unreasonably low speed limits is public and political pressure. While individuals and politicians clearly influence some speed limit decision, there are other factors involved.
    http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/sl-irrel.html Unfortunately this particular paper is focused on freeway speeds and therefore has little application here.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    A "new" paradigm needs to reestablish the purpose of public roads; the right to free unfettered travel by walking or cycling; and driving is a privilege with significant responsibilities, not a right.
    I think it's ridiculous to think the country will move backwards to a much slower, much less practical, and much less comfortable form of transportation like walking or cycling.

    If you want the roads to become less populated with cars so you can enjoy them on your bikes, the way to get rid of the cars is not to get the drivers onto bikes - it's to get them into trains and buses. Trains and buses are as fast, practical, and comfortable as automobiles and with increased ridership will even be as convenient (meaning you can go when you want instead of waiting) in more places.

    Or work towards the development of new types of personal transportation that will play nice with bikes in a way that current cars don't. But to promote the bicycle as a real solution for american transportation needs just because we like to ride bikes is silly. And doomed to failure.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    I think it's ridiculous to think the country will move backwards to a much slower, much less practical, and much less comfortable form of transportation like walking or cycling.

    If you want the roads to become less populated with cars so you can enjoy them on your bikes, the way to get rid of the cars is not to get the drivers onto bikes - it's to get them into trains and buses. Trains and buses are as fast, practical, and comfortable as automobiles and with increased ridership will even be as convenient (meaning you can go when you want instead of waiting) in more places.

    Or work towards the development of new types of personal transportation that will play nice with bikes in a way that current cars don't. But to promote the bicycle as a real solution for american transportation needs just because we like to ride bikes is silly. And doomed to failure.
    Tell it to the Dutch. They haven't heard your news that cycling is impractical and unpleasant.


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    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    I think it's ridiculous to think the country will move backwards to a much slower, much less practical, and much less comfortable form of transportation like walking or cycling.
    I bike because I am as fast or faster then any form of mass transit around here. I will also assert that I am saving time over car travel in that I do not have to spend any extra time getting my daily dose of exercise, not to mention times where I was actually faster on a bike then people who drove.

    But even if you don't buy all that, studies have shown that 10-20% of rush hour traffic is attributed to parents driving their kids to school. Think about it, a percentage that rivals mass transit use is significantly contributing to congestion because neighborhoods within a mile of a public school are perceived as not bike/ped friendly.

    The problem with the road/car paradigm is not the long car trips its the fact that most people feel they need a car to run to the store to get a loaf of bread or a quart of milk.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post

    ...If you want the roads to become less populated with cars so you can enjoy them on your bikes, the way to get rid of the cars is not to get the drivers onto bikes - it's to get them into trains and buses. Trains and buses are as fast, practical, and comfortable as automobiles and with increased ridership will even be as convenient (meaning you can go when you want instead of waiting) in more places...
    You say this like it's an either/or proposition. Certainly promoting bicycle use does not preclude promoting trains and other forms of public transportation. In fact, most bicycle advocacy groups I've been involved with work hard to combine both with concepts like bike racks on buses and access to trains with a bike.

    This combination allows many cyclists to ride a few miles to the train station or bus stop put the bike on the public transit take the train near to their destination and ride the mile or so to where they are going. I think you're absolutely right about the need to promote better public transport. Public transit combined with bicycling infrastructure like bike racks at train stations, bike path/MUP's that run parallel to rail lines or to train stations and easy access to trains and buses with a bike.

    In Switzerland I liked being able to rent a bike at just about any train station and drop it off at any other train station. Those combos reduce the need for a car.

    ...so you can enjoy them on your bikes...
    and BTW, what's up with the your thing? Aren't you a bike rider, too?

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    and BTW, what's up with the your thing? Aren't you a bike rider, too?
    Yes. But I'm not asking the rest of the world to make any changes on my behalf. I'll ride a bike regardless. The status quo is fine to me. I ride for fun.

    When I grew up my parents had cars but I got to school on foot or by skateboard or bicycle. In my college days I mainly got around by bike/foot and sometimes motorcycle and some girlfriends' had cars. Then when I started working in Tokyo I still had no need for a car because of the train system that would get me anywhere in the country quite easily. But when I moved to the San Francisco area, I realized I no longer had that system and even though SF itself has decent public transportation by american standards, I'd be totally limiting where/when I could travel in California to not own a car. I'm in my 40s now and do not view cars as evil. They are freakin' brilliant. Yes, the fuel we've chosen to power them with has become problematic, various safety aspects could be improved, and so on, but the idea of a powered, comfortable, personal transportation vehicle is perfect for the North American continent. My car (old italian convertible) totally expands the land that is possible for me to see and interact with.


    This is why saying stuff like "tell it to the Dutch," is so irrelevant. Their country compared to the usa is apples to oranges. Population density, geography, transportation history...everything is different.

  19. #44
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    Yes. But I'm not asking the rest of the world to make any changes on my behalf. I'll ride a bike regardless. The status quo is fine to me. I ride for fun.

    When I grew up my parents had cars but I got to school on foot or by skateboard or bicycle. In my college days I mainly got around by bike/foot and sometimes motorcycle and some girlfriends' had cars. Then when I started working in Tokyo I still had no need for a car because of the train system that would get me anywhere in the country quite easily. But when I moved to the San Francisco area, I realized I no longer had that system and even though SF itself has decent public transportation by american standards, I'd be totally limiting where/when I could travel in California to not own a car. I'm in my 40s now and do not view cars as evil. They are freakin' brilliant. Yes, the fuel we've chosen to power them with has become problematic, various safety aspects could be improved, and so on, but the idea of a powered, comfortable, personal transportation vehicle is perfect for the North American continent. My car (old italian convertible) totally expands the land that is possible for me to see and interact with.


    This is why saying stuff like "tell it to the Dutch," is so irrelevant. Their country compared to the usa is apples to oranges. Population density, geography, transportation history...everything is different
    .
    I really don't care if you love cars. It's your disdain of bikes that puzzles me. You seem to have the attitude that bikes are great toys, but useless as transportation. I see from your little biography that you've never had a chance to rely on a bike as an adult. That probably explains your ignorance of their role as transportation. Try riding your bike to the store or to work a few times. There's a good chance that you'll slowly start to see the beauty of the bike as the most perfect transportation for medium distances.

    My Dutch reference wasn't irrelevant. Many areas of the US--most small, medium and large cities--are much like Holland in terms of geography and density. We're not talking about cross-country trips through the Rocky Mountains. We're talking about 5 or 10 miles across town--that's the apples to apples. And I see you didn't dispute my satirical statement that bike travel is unpleasant and impractical--maybe you agree with that? If so, I hope you'll give it a try and see how wrong you are.


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  20. #45
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    It amazes me how many bicyclists seem unable to believe that the bicycle can be a practical means of transportation in the U.S.

    It can be. And riding according to the rules of the road can be practical, too-- with or without bike lanes, the fight over which is just about the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my life.

    I too was taught in a 'boomer' school in the 1960s (in suburban St. Louis (County)) to ride road according to the rules of the road. Contrary to what one particular well-known jack-leg 'historian' contends, I don't recall that anyone thought there was any other practical way for an adult to ride a bicycle.

    I also rode a bicycle to school pretty much always-- always in the road after the age of six or so. Prior to high school (when bicycling stopped being cool and I often walked instead), I don't think I got a ride to or from school five times in my life (and most of those times I was either sick as a dog or injured).

    Some of the most significant changes since the 1960s have been, as The Human Car has said (post #31), helmet usage (which has been a mixed blessing), seat belts and air bags (which have made motorists feel invincible) and road engineering like the right turn on red (which have given motorists a sense of entitlement).

    The other significant thing that happened was that rules of the road bicyclists have lost their way and been seduced by an ideology that has always been doomed to failure.

    Cyclists who believe in riding according to the rules of the road need to abandon the defeatist attitudes of that ideology, which holds that bicycles are impractical as a primary means of transportation in the U.S., that mass transit is impractical as well, that dedicated transportational bicyclists (which the guru of VC-ism admits he never was) are all cyclist inferiority phobic anti-motorists, and that anyone who disagrees with The Great One's crackpot social and psychological theories should be given one of the derogatory terms for other bicyclists, the coining of which seems to be the foundation of VC-ist "they're all against us" know-it-all-ism that is perhaps the worst thing that has happened to rules of the road cycling since the 1960s.

    Forester-inspired VC-ism is, and has always been, an advocacy cul-de-sac. It is well past time that rules of the road bicyclists adopt a new paradigm, stop obsessing about bike lanes (and wasting whatever political capital they may have on what is surely a relatively minor issue) and, most importantly, stop worrying about the legacy of the guy with the inflated ego (and the distorted view of the world and history) who had a couple of books published and coined the term "vehicular cycling," 'cuz any way you slice it, the legacy is a mixed one.
    "It may even be that motoring is more healthful than not motoring; death rates were certainly higher in the pre-motoring age."- John Forester
    "Laws cannot be properly understood as if written in plain English..."- Forester defending obfuscation.
    "Motorist propaganda, continued for sixty years, is what has put cyclists on sidewalks." - Forester, sociologist in his own mind
    "'There are no rules of the road on MUPs.' -John Forester" - Helmet Head quoting 'The Great One'

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    Yes. But I'm not asking the rest of the world to make any changes on my behalf. I'll ride a bike regardless. The status quo is fine to me.
    Exactly what is a satisfactory status quo is the question. Is turning every bike friendly roadway into a mini car only highway an acceptable status quo? Is driving further and further out for bike club ride starts an acceptable status quo?

    The world is changing and that you cannot stop so it is simply a question of if you are going to let it change for the benefit of others who see no value in biking or for the benefit of those who do bike.
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  22. #47
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    Yes. But I'm not asking the rest of the world to make any changes on my behalf. I'll ride a bike regardless. The status quo is fine to me. I ride for fun.

    When I grew up my parents had cars but I got to school on foot or by skateboard or bicycle. In my college days I mainly got around by bike/foot and sometimes motorcycle and some girlfriends' had cars. Then when I started working in Tokyo I still had no need for a car because of the train system that would get me anywhere in the country quite easily. But when I moved to the San Francisco area, I realized I no longer had that system and even though SF itself has decent public transportation by american standards, I'd be totally limiting where/when I could travel in California to not own a car. I'm in my 40s now and do not view cars as evil. They are freakin' brilliant. Yes, the fuel we've chosen to power them with has become problematic, various safety aspects could be improved, and so on, but the idea of a powered, comfortable, personal transportation vehicle is perfect for the North American continent. My car (old italian convertible) totally expands the land that is possible for me to see and interact with.


    This is why saying stuff like "tell it to the Dutch," is so irrelevant. Their country compared to the usa is apples to oranges. Population density, geography, transportation history...everything is different.
    Regardless of your attitude... there is a darn good chance "the Dutch" and others have it more right than we do. In the US of A the most popular form of transportation uses a tremendous amount of non renewable energy... eventually that will catch up with us and force us to either radically figure out how to use other forms of power or start to use human based transportation. We have had several "warnings" in the past, the most recent with the recent $5.00 a gallon gas. Either we will learn to be more like "the Dutch" or we will find ourselves in far worse condition than the current economic downturn.

    It is amazing however that anytime we are threatened with having to develop alternative power or transportation, the price of oil plummets. How much longer are we going to be manipulated like puppets to the yo yo cost of oil?

  23. #48
    Surf Bum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    I really don't care if you love cars. It's your disdain of bikes that puzzles me. You seem to have the attitude that bikes are great toys, but useless as transportation. I see from your little biography that you've never had a chance to rely on a bike as an adult. That probably explains your ignorance of their role as transportation. Try riding your bike to the store or to work a few times. There's a good chance that you'll slowly start to see the beauty of the bike as the most perfect transportation for medium distances.
    I don't have a disdain for bikes. I totally dig them, but admit that they are unpractical as transportation for many people in this country. If I still lived the flat, rural town i grew up in, or lived the 'stay in a few square mile' existence i did in santa barbara and portland, or had the backup of an extensive public transport system like we have in japan, then sure, maybe i'd rely totally on a bike for local transport. But I live on the california coast, separated from civilization by mountain ranges totally impractical to pass by bike in any reasonable amount of time available for commuting to work. (and since i work for the public and have to maintain a 30-min maximum response time, i have to have a car handy). Yes, I can walk or bike to the store: did so three times over the weekend. But unless I want my world to be tiny, I need some other way to get in/out of town and we lack the main component of that: trains. Too many americans are in this situation for bicycles to ever reach high usage numbers as only means of transportation.

    I guess I didn't spell it out but of course I rode a bicycle in Japan. All my local trips were either on foot or bike. I took my son to preschool by bike, did the shopping and so on. It was totally appropriate for the situation. And I didn't need a car for more distance trips because of the train system. But the u.s., even the sf bay area, is very far away from being practical for a no-car lifestyle. My belief is that to get there, we aren't going to replace cars with bikes, but with something else: mass transit plus bikes, or cleaner personal transport vehicles.


    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Regardless of your attitude... there is a darn good chance "the Dutch" and others have it more right than we do. In the US of A the most popular form of transportation uses a tremendous amount of non renewable energy... eventually that will catch up with us and force us to either radically figure out how to use other forms of power or start to use human based transportation. We have had several "warnings" in the past, the most recent with the recent $5.00 a gallon gas. Either we will learn to be more like "the Dutch" or we will find ourselves in far worse condition than the current economic downturn.
    Clearly gasoline powered cars are dead technology and were a bad idea to begin with. But the question is will we replace them with human powered travel or replace them with cleanly powered personal or mass transit vehicles? Even if our personal preference is for bikes/walking, surely you can see the unlikeliness of going that way instead of progressing to some new technology (as has been the path of mankind since the beginning: when have we ever gone "back" away from machines?)

  24. #49
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacificaslim View Post
    ....But unless I want my world to be tiny, I need some other way to get in/out of town and we lack the main component of that: trains. Too many americans are in this situation for bicycles to ever reach high usage numbers as only means of transportation....

    My belief is that to get there, we aren't going to replace cars with bikes, but with something else: mass transit plus bikes, or cleaner personal transport vehicles...

    Clearly gasoline powered cars are dead technology and were a bad idea to begin with. But the question is will we replace them with human powered travel or replace them with cleanly powered personal or mass transit vehicles? Even if our personal preference is for bikes/walking, surely you can see the unlikeliness of going that way instead of progressing to some new technology (as has been the path of mankind since the beginning: when have we ever gone "back" away from machines
    ?)
    NOBODY is using this simplistic, idealistic and unsophisticated argument that everybody should ditch their cars and ride only bikes instead. This is a straw man argument and unworthy of further discussion. Everybody who thinks seriously about transportation issues is a "mixed mode" advocate. That's true of the entire political spectrum from BP, GM and conservative think tanks to radical environmental groups.

    Bikes can be a serious and useful part of the transit mix. They're especially useful for medium range trips of 5 or 10 miles. Trips of this length account for a substantial number of the miles traveled in most countries, including even the sprawled out United States (and of course Holland). Clearly, if more of these trips were made by bicycle, the world would be better off by anybody's standards.

    Buses and trains are great, but they still use significant resources and contribute to pollution and warming more than bikes do. As for new technology--I'm a proponent. It will be developed SOMEDAY--but there isn't much on the horizon that's practical for wide spread use in the next decade or two. And, as with buses and trains, any green technoogy of the future will probably use more resources and pollute more than a simple bicycle, and contribute more to congestion and sprawl.


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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRA View Post
    The other significant thing that happened was that rules of the road bicyclists have lost their way and been seduced by an ideology that has always been doomed to failure.

    Cyclists who believe in riding according to the rules of the road need to abandon the defeatist attitudes of that ideology, which holds that bicycles are impractical as a primary means of transportation in the U.S., that mass transit is impractical as well, that dedicated transportational bicyclists (which the guru of VC-ism admits he never was) are all cyclist inferiority phobic anti-motorists, and that anyone who disagrees with The Great One's crackpot social and psychological theories should be given one of the derogatory terms for other bicyclists, the coining of which seems to be the foundation of VC-ist "they're all against us" know-it-all-ism that is perhaps the worst thing that has happened to rules of the road cycling since the 1960s.
    [snip]
    Interesting point but if I may I would like to zoom out and look at the world in a larger context then just the one influenced by the guru of VC-ism. In all things if there is not enough opportunity to do X then facilities to do X are created. Facilities for X can be anything from ball fields, mass transit lines, highway expansion to bikeways, this is just how civil engineers look at this kind of problem. But this kind of fix does not address the how and whys of roads that were once considered bikeable are now no longer considered bikeable. Civil engineers do not enact laws, they do not get police to enforce our safety nor do they have much to say in educational training in schools or at the MVA. It is as if academia has conspired to only allow bikeways as a solution to making bicycling more comfortable and accessible.

    And indeed areas that have gone full tilt with the bikeway concept are compelling but when we look closely at the European model we see many things besides bikeways that simply do not exist here like laws that favor cyclists, good safety education in the schools and expensive car use. So even if the goal is to adopt the best practices of Europe it has to be more then just bikeways.

    Again I will assert that it was the US emphasizing "safe crashing" and the over accommodation of cars that lead to a general consensus that the roads should be unsafe to bike on so therefore bikeways are the only "reasonable" solution. This over glorification of bikeways I will put squarely in the area of academia (prominently college civil engineering and urban planning and design classes.) LAB in the desire to become more professional started to appoint board members from academia (late 90's) and that just ignited the whole bike lane controversy among bicycle advocates.

    Bicycle advocacy should be about the 5 E's (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, Evaluation) it should not be a pi55ing match over what's more important Engineering (bike lanes) or Education (LCI classes.) It should be about getting the best in all 5 categories. By over stressing one category we allow junk to come in (e.g. Since bike lanes or paths are better then riding in the road, door zone bike lanes and sidewalk sidepaths are preferable over sharrows or no bike lanes.) Similarly education that is limited to just LCI classes misses the problems in academia, public school system, driver training, police training and safety programs.

    All 5 E's are designed to work in concert with one another, where one fails others will succeed. It is trying to get one category to solve all problems is the problem.
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